At the beginning of this journey, I had no idea how lonely the entrepreneurial path I was about to embark on was going to be. I had grown up with many friends and I was quite popular amongst them and in my community. However, I initially found it very difficult to deal with the lack of support and encouragement that I received from some of my best friends.
This was an important lesson for me to learn. If I was going to achieve anything of great recognition I wouldn’t be able to rely on the same support structures or mindsets that had gotten me that far.
I was going to have to break the mold and step outside of my comfort zone. I wasn’t about to let the lack of support stop me. I was passionate about what I was doing, and with or without them, as far as I was concerned, I was going to make it happen.
It was amazing to see that as I began to pursue this vision, I began to meet like-minded people. You too will find that when you step out and follow your dreams, all of the people and resources needed will, in time, also come your way.
So allow me to give you a few tips that have helped me to build a large network over the last few years:
Tip #1: We’re all equal
It is important to realize that there are different levels of success. If someone has achieved a certain level of success in a field, they deserve to be respected for that. However, avoid getting caught in the trap of behaving like you’re a fan of the person and being too dramatic. Don’t be intimidated by other people. Be respectful but not afraid.
Tip #2: Always think win-win.
To think win-win means to guarantee a favorable outcome for everyone involved. Always be prepared to give back, to serve others, and to offer your services the same way someone else has been kind enough to offer theirs.
Tip #3: Ask questions and then shut up
When you meet someone new, don’t talk over them, don’t get distracted by other things happening around the room. Do your best to give the person you are speaking to your complete attention.
Tip #4: Keep it real
Don’t pretend, don’t fake it, don’t try and be what you’re not. All you need to do is be consistent, be real, and be open to meeting new people and making new connections. You don’t need to force the issue or even be witty about it. Just be consistent and be open.
Tip #5: Be in the right place at the right time
Do some research to find out where the events are taking place in your area or country and get to those places; don’t waste your time trying to meet new people in places where you won’t find the people you want to meet.
By putting these tips into practice you will find that over time you will build your own support system and meet the right people that will help propel you towards greatness.